Thunder Tops Stingrays, Leads Series 3-2

Posted May 7, 2016

(via the Stingrays)

With their 3-2 overtime loss on the road, the South Carolina Stingrays trail the Adirondack Thunder 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. North Charleston Coliseum will host Game 6 on May 10th and, should the Stingrays win that, Game 7 the next night.

After a 6-0 embarrassment at the hands of the Stingrays in Game 4, the Thunder came out ready to strike. Ben Johnson struck first after David Pacan elected to defend Michael Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick found Johnson waiting behind Pacan for the tap-in goal.

With 72 seconds to go in the first, Stephan Vigier dropped a pass for Marcus Perrier, already in his wind up. Mitchell Heard stepped up, took the puck, and started up ice on a three-on-two before Perrier could turn around. Heard sent it toward Mark Dekanich for a tip from Greg Wolfe to double the Thunder advantage.

With a middle of the second power play expiring, the Stingrays pierced Ken Appleby for their first of the game. Austin Fyten found Caleb Herbert waiting at the left post from behind the net to end the shutout bid. With the goal, Herbert ties Joe Devin for the team lead in goals this playoffs (seven).

Dekanich only faced four shots in the third period, stopping all of them, while his offense pressed for an equalizer. Spencer Humphries gloved down a clearing bid and restarted the attack by passing up for Brett Cameron. Cameron’s floater to the slot missed the glove of Dana Fraser, but hit the stick of Perrier. The puck settled for Humphries, who turned a wrist shot into the top left corner for his first playoff goal.

In the extra session, South Carolina managed five shots on goal, two on a power play, to Adirondack’s eight. Kirkpatrick brought the puck in dangerously close to offside to help set up Gunnar Hughes’ game-winner.

Dekanich ended the night with 26 saves on 29 shots; Appleby stopped 28 of 30. Both teams failed on their power play chances, with the Stingrays 0/4 and the Thunder 0/5.

Games 6 and 7 will be at North Charleston Coliseum; the Stingrays will need to win both to keep their hopes at a Kelly Cup alive.